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RE: WCAG-ISSUE-23 (DavidMacD): We should consider a new "Failure to provide role=presentation on a layout table"

From: Hoffman, Allen <allen.hoffman@hq.dhs.gov>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 15:58:00 +0000
To: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>, GLWAI Guidelines WG org <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F2EC405EEF0B414E8B1415742F1C8BEC476AFAA9@D2ASEPREA004>
I like the idea of doing this as a sufficient technique myself, while discussions take place about if we feel it really is a failure not to do this in this way.

On the other hand, if we can agree at some point we should know if not doing so does indicate a failure of 1.3.1.  If folks can't agree to that it can't be a failure condition either.

On a subjective personal note as a screen reader user I have found that current screen readers don't allow the same level of navigation in .css alternatives to tabular formatted content, e.g. you can't read down column, in a .css formatted tabular format while you can if it's an actual table.  It is very frustrating to navigate such content when you know the screen reader could read it nicely if it supported mapping columns in .css tabular materials.  I still would not fault a coder for coding it in .css, but would urge my screen reader folks to get cracking figuring out how to render such materials so they can be navigated effectively.


From: Alastair Campbell [mailto:acampbell@nomensa.com]
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2014 11:00 AM
To: GLWAI Guidelines WG org
Subject: RE: WCAG-ISSUE-23 (DavidMacD): We should consider a new "Failure to provide role=presentation on a layout table"

In the particular case of layout tables, a consistent question since 2008 has been "Can you use layout tables and be accessible?".

It is actually quite a difficult question to answer, the normative text doesn't say you cannot use layout tables, but there is a non-linked advisory for "Using CSS rather than tables for page layout". There is an overall impression that you shouldn't, but nowhere in writing that says you cannot.

As noted on this thread, the impact of layout tables can be minimal, and adding this particular failure would change the status of many pages.

Overall, I agree with Loretta, I think an addition sufficient technique for using role="presentation" at least gives a positive thing to do if you have to use layout tables. It would provide an explicit way of passing SC1.3.1, which would be helpful doing audits.
-Alastair
Received on Monday, 2 June 2014 15:59:09 UTC

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